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SERF. During the feudal times certain persons who were bound to perform very onerous duties towards others, were so called. Poth. Des Personnes, p. 1, t. 1, a. 6, s. 4. There is this essential difference between a serf and a slave; the serf was bound simply to labor on the soil where he was born, without any right to go elsewhere without the consent of his lord; but he was free to act as he pleased in his daily action: the slave on the contrary is the property of his master, who may require him to act as he pleases in every respect, and who may sell him as a chattel. Lepage, Science du Droit, c. 3, art. 2, Sec. 2.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
He presents the peasants as being resourceful, especially within the system of serfdom. Eight out of his thirteen chapters focus on serfdom.
Friedrich Hayek, Nobel Prize laureate in Economics in 1974, said in his book 'The Road to Serfdom,' [quoting Benjamin Franklin], 'Those who are willing to give up essential liberties against a false sense of security and ephemeral deserve neither liberty nor safety.' 'The system of private property is the most important guarantee of freedom.'
We follow the life of a girl named Harriet Lee, daughter of Margot and Simon, who grows up in the land of Druhastrana amid the idyllic wheat fields, in a life of serfdom to the wealthy and legendary Kercheval family.
Turning Britons against other Europeans by lying and inventing false promises,while at the same time demonising foreigners, smacks of a Right-wing plot to replace rights with a new serfdom.
'On 11 November 1918, the dreams of generations of Poles came true: after 123 years of serfdom, Russification and Germanisation, after great uprisings, free Poland was reinstated on the map of the world.
It marks the day Tonga's first Christian king, King Siaosi Tupuo I, officially abolished serfdom in Tonga on June 4, 1862.
A peasant born into serfdom, Agnes is separated from her family and forced into servitude as a laundress's apprentice when she is only ten years old.
Summary: Indeed, we are so used to this form of serfdom that we see it where it does not exist.
He explores the rise, evolution, decline, and demise of serfdom; the relationship among the state, lord, peasant, and peasant communal and social institutions such as the family and commune; state peasant and rural policies; agrarian reforms; and the rural economy as a complex ecological entity that encompasses peasant agriculture, land use, livestock rearing, and non-agricultural endeavors and their evolution during the time period he covers.
Valery Zorkin, who chairs the Constitutional Court, wrote in Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the official government newspaper, that serfdom has long been a "social glue" for Russia.
Like villains in bad action movies, who run out and pause to be shot, the inhabitants of developed countries--some more, some less, not least our own--are diving headlong into luxurious serfdom, all the while protesting the privacy breaches they invite and the inequality they disparage-- both of which are the obvious consequences of promiscuously assigning one's capacities to others.
Arising from the medieval practice of granting respected citizens freedom from serfdom, the tradition still lives on in many countries, although today the title of "freeman" confers no special privileges.